Mythbusted: Vision and Eye Health

Do carrots really help you see in the dark? Does Eye Yoga actually work? In this blog we’ll be taking a look at some of the myths about eyes and eye care.

Daily Eye Exercises & Eye Yoga

There has been no evidence to suggest that muscular eye exercises and ‘eye yoga’ will improve your vision. Basic refractive errors result from the actual shape of the eyeball. The shape determines whether you are short sighted, long sighted, and so on. By exercising the muscles around the eye and stimulating blood flow, you make no impact on the shape of the eyeball itself. In addition, no evidence has ever been found that visual training improves lost vision through diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. While unlikely to cause you any actual harm, it’s equally unlikely you’ll be able to throw your glasses away after a regime of eye exercises.

Myths about reading books

Does reading too much damage your eyes?

Reading too much can give you eye fatigue, and like looking at a screen too long, you can get dry eyes from a lack of blinking. Other than that, reading is good for the brain and harmless to your vision.

Does reading in the dark damage your eyes?

Again, reading in the dark can cause eye fatigue, but will not damage your eyes.

Holding Your Books Too Close Damages Your Eyesight

While this habit will not damage your eyesight, it may be a sign of underlying refractive errors. Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, occurs when received light rays fall incorrectly in front of your retina. As a result, you may have a hard time seeing distant objects clearly. This is why you may find holding your reading materials at close-range easier. Using corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses may help manage this problem.

Only boys can get colour blindness

Colour blindness, also known as colour deficiency (a more accurate description), is a condition that prevents you from seeing certainly colours properly. Colour-blind people have an altered sense of colours and are unable to distinguish between certain colours, commonly among greens and reds.
Males are much more likely to develop colour blindness, but females can develop it too. It is estimated that there are 8% of the men with some sort of colour deficiency while less than 1% of females are affected.

Myths about glasses

Wearing glasses makes your eyesight worse

Glasses or contact lenses only make your vision clearer. Wearing them constantly does not increase or decrease your power, but could help prevent eye strain. When you take your glasses off and can’t see, it’s because your eyes have gotten used to not needing to strain all the time.

Wearing Glasses Causes You To Become Dependent On Them

If you need glasses to drive or get out of bed, then yes, you probably are dependent on your glasses. We like being able to see clearly, it’s only natural. However, your eyes do not become dependent on them and degrade faster as a result.

Eating Carrots Improves Your Night Vision

Carrots are great! They’re full of vitamin A and other nutrients that help promote sight. However, committing to a diet of carrots will not give you cat-level night vision. Managing a healthy diet with or without carrots provides enough vitamin A to promote good vision.
The myth about carrots being good for night vision was made popular during World War II. Thanks to rationing, there was a lack of sugar and citizens on the Home Front were encouraged to use alternatives to essential foodstuffs. Carrots were suggested as treats for children. RAF fighter ace John “Cat’s Eyes” Cunningham who scored 19 kills during night raids would later have his excellent night vision attributed to carrots.

TV eye myths

Sitting Too Close To The TV Is Bad For Kids’ Eyes

Children find it easier to focus at close distance than adults do. As they grow, the habit of sitting so close to the TV starts to wear off. While not recommended, there is no evidence that doing so actually damages the eyes. And, on a similar note…

Does watching TV in the dark hurt your eyes?

The glare from the TV in the dark might seem painful, but there is no evidence that watching TV in the dark is bad for your eyes.

Using Computer Screens Can Damage Your Eyes

Staring at anything for too long without a break can cause eye strain and fatigue, it isn’t just computers. When you stare, you blink less and your eyes start to dry out, which causes the feeling of eye fatigue. The screens themselves are not harmful to your vision.
Just like everything else, it’s important to take things in moderation. If you work in an environment where prolonged staring is involved, take regular breaks. Allow your eyes to rest and stretch by focusing on things at different distances. If you work with a computer, keep the screen between 18 and 24 inches away and at a slightly downward angle.

Like any sort of health care, looking after your eyes is an important part of life. There are many treatments for eye problems on the market, but it’s important not to fall for old wives tales that don’t help anyone. If you have any questions about your eyes or eye care, get in touch or visit your local Eyesite store. We’re always happy to help.